Tim, Dave and I recently purchased a large number of Michter's decanters from someone's collection in PA. Included in my shipment of 10 decanters (full of whiskey...of course) was a large file of information sent from Michter's to their Collector's Society. Lot's of interesting tidbits about the distillery, the various owners, etc. There was the original flyer for each decanter ..... but most interesting was a sales brochure on Michter's single barrel program released in 1980. The whiskey was called Michter's Limited 1753 and was made in the original Bomberger Distillery equipped with two small hand hammered copper pot stills and three cypresswood fermenting tubs. This equipment had been restarted in 1976 and production capacity was less than a barrel a day. Estimated production for the 1980/81 season was 298 barrels and if you lived in PA, you could purchase your own barrel for $2,961 TTL included. You could actually request a particular distillation date for a birthday, aniversary, etc. THEN....you get to make the aging decision....from 4 to 20 years....they suggest a minimum of six years. Michter's would personalize your barrel and age it for you. There is even a "guaging chart" to estimate the number of bottles remaining in your barrel after so many years of aging....ie 5 cases and 7 bottles after 20 years. The whiskey was barreled at 115 proof and would be bottled at barrel proof! Custom labels and bottling are included. The brochure depicts the bottles as burgundy wine shaped with a dripping wax top. You could also go by and see (and I suppose taste) your aging whiskey by appointment.
All in all quite a few novel concepts by the proprieter...T. D. Veru. Single barrel......you decide the age at which to bottle......and at barrel proof. He was just ahead of his time. I don't know if any sales were made under this program or if any whiskey was bottled under this program. Mr. Veru was apparently not in the picture in 1983 based on other info in the file.
When this brochure was printed, Michter's had only made about 300 barrels since 1976 in the Bomberger equipment and was being sold only in $500 dedication decanters at the distillery at four years of age. Anyone ever seen one of these? Mr. Veru was also willing to sell one of the 300 existing barrels of the Bomberger pot stil whiskey under this program at "a premium if you wanted to cut down on your waiting period". I wonder what happened to those genuine pot stil barrels?
As I go through the file, I'll update this post with anything of interest.